A Teesside charity has hailed the kindness of local businesses in the Tees Valley after donations at its recent Christmas Ball reached over £30,000.

The High Tide Foundation, which aims to raise career aspirations in young people through real life work experience programmes, held its annual ball to celebrate a fantastic year of experience delivery. The event at Wynyard Hall was attended by 170 guests from businesses and organisations around the region, who raised a phenomenal £30,958 with the help of a nationwide initiative that doubles donations.

The Big Give Christmas Challenge was launched in 2008 and is the UK’s biggest online match funding campaign, providing a platform for ‘community champions’ to double donations made to their selected organisation within a week-long period.

Mark Easby, chairman of High Tide, said: “Fundraising is the lifeblood of our charity and programmes, and the match-funding allows us to enhance and make the most of that.”

The charity’s six Corporate Partners have also shown their generosity and commitment to inspiring the young people of Teesside with each renewing their support for another year, enabling High Tide to deliver quality experiences in their industries throughout the year.

Adding to this festive altruism, High Tide member Joslin Rhodes has donated the budget allocated for client Christmas gifts to the foundation instead. The Stockton-based pension planning firm has given £2,000, which, along with Corporate Partner donations, will be doubled through the Big Give.

These donations will be used to fund the programmes High Tide offers, which include port trips, work placements and cadetships in shipping, automotive and creative media. The foundation works with its Corporate Partners, local schools and over 100 business members to provide unique, industry-led experiences, and has inspired over 10,000 students through personal, tailored interaction since its inception in 2012.

Speaking about the programmes High Tide offers, Trustee Kirsten Donkin said: “They’re about preparing students for life, not just for work.

“The generosity of our donors goes such a long way and allows us to provide real, meaningful, life-changing experiences to young people in the Tees Valley.”

Thanks to this spate of generosity, the foundation is edging close to its Big Give target of £45,000.